RealTime IT News

New Orbits For Mercury's SOA?

In Mercury Interactive Corporation, we have a case of a medium fish on the brink of being swallowed by a big fish (HP), while chowing down on a smaller fish (Systinet).

With Systinet's governance software freshly tucked under its belt, Mercury is offering new software to improve the way business processes are deployed in a service-oriented architecture (SOA).

The news forms the centerpiece of Mercury World 2006 show in Las Vegas this week, where the company will look to show that it can still drive technological and strategic advancements even as it is being acquired by HP.

Mercury Chief Marketing Officer Christopher Lochhead said that while SOAs , with their flexibility and reusability, are great perks for businesses, the architectures pose problems when the hundreds or even thousands of services in a SOA are mismanaged.

"Services are like gerbils," Lochhead said. "Once you have two you can have 47."

Many IT shops struggle with delivering consistent SOA  results due to business problems created by poor management, uncontrolled service changes and the inability to fix problems in production.

For those reasons, SOA has actually become a top risk area for businesses; Mercury aims to change that.

The company today debuted a new version of Systinet 2, a governance software platform tailored to help companies grapple with ad-hoc services that do not meet compliance standards and business requirements, said Avrami Tzur, vice president of SOA strategy for Mercury.

Such services cannot be reused throughout the business; Systinet 2 includes a registry and repository for logging and storing services, service publishing and discovery, policy management, contract management, interoperability and lifecycle management, all of which work together to corral a company's tangled SOA.

Systinet 2 includes new custom dashboards to help admins configure a single view of all new services, deployed services, service availability and services changes, including views of service policies, compliance status, service approvals and requests.

Tzur said the software is also equipped to handle Really-Simple-Syndication (RSS) utilities, providing timely information to users such as enterprise architects and operations managers.

ZapThink analyst Jason Bloomberg, who followed Systinet closely when the company was a standalone competing with the likes of SOA Software, Actional and others, applauded Mercury's integration of the governance software maker.

"Mercury now has a deep, comprehensive toolset for the entire service lifecycle, from design time through deployment to runtime management and dynamic service change and reconfiguration," Bloomberg said.

It's clear Mercury isn't resting on its laurels by integrating Systinet; the company has cooked some of its own technology goodies.

To help corporations ensure the quality of their SOA, which entails managing service test requirements, plans, scripts, and execution, Mercury is offering Mercury Service Test and Mercury Service Test Management.

Service Test tests services, making sure that they will meet the functional and performance requirements of the business before being deployed into production.

Service Test Management is designed to help customers keep poorly functioning services from being randomly thrown into production.

Finally, Mercury today introduced SOA management to manage changes to prevent damage to SOA-based applications resolve issues before they impinge the business.

The SOA management tools are part of Mercury Business Availability Center, which helps customers deploy Web services, application availability and performance in production.

All of the new software products are available now as standalone products. Mercury Service Test Management, an integrated module within Mercury Quality Center 9.0, is also available now.

Mercury expects to become part of HP  later this year, making the systems vendor a rival to be reckoned with for IBM , CA  and BMC Software  in the multi-billion-dollar management software market.